North-East Labour MPs in joint plea to increase transport funding in the region
All 26 Labour MPs in the North East have signed a joint letter calling on the Government to increase transport funding in the region.
Their plea follows similar requests for extra funding to improve the A19 in our area as part of this paper's Safe A19 campaign.
Among the signatories are Sunderland MPs Julie Elliott, Sharon Hodgson and Bridget Phillipson, South Tyneside MPs Stephen Hepburn and Emma Lewell-Buck, Easington MP Grahame Morris and Hartlepool MP Mike Hill.
Along with their party colleagues, they are highlighting what they see as the inequality between what is spent on transport in the North and London "with London receiving more than double the amount the North receives per head of the population".
The letter, addressed to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, demands to know what his department intends to do to address "the lack of investment in the North East’s transport systems".
It also asks for urgent steps to be taken to increase funding levels to address "ongoing chronic and historic underfunding in transport infrastructure across the North East of England."
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Ian Mearns, MP for Gateshead, said: “the recent Institute for Public Policy Research report, Future Transport Investment in the North, with figures taken from official government statistics, graphically highlights the huge disparity in spending plans on transport infrastructure between the North East of England and London.
“It is widely recognised that there is no doubt that our transport infrastructure in the North East is, at best, poor and in many cases dreadful.
"Therefore, this is an urgent and unified appeal for government action to rectify a long-term problem.”
More than 2,000 people have already signed our campaign for an inquiry into the number of accidents on the A19 with more than 70 people suffering injuries last year in a stretch of dual carriageway from Wolviston, near Hartlepool, to Boldon.
The joint Sunderland Echo, Hartlepool Mail and Shields Gazette petition can be signed at Change.org by searching for Safe A19: A call for an inquiry into safety on the dual carriageway through the North East.